Pulau Payar Marine Park
Pulau Payar Marine Park, located 35 km south west of Langkawi, consists of four islands called Pulau Payar, Pulau Kaca, Pulau Lembu, and Pulau Segantang. It is the only diving and snorkelling site on the western coast of Malaysia. The park is about an hour away from the Kuah Jetty, and can only be reached by a tour boat.
A hassle-free peek at the marine life is possible by visiting the undersea observation deck at the main platform area. The water here is shallow, and just beneath the surface you will see a colourful metropolis of corals and endangered fish. The coral in Pulau Payar Marine sanctuary are of both hard and soft variety and provide shelter to a large variety of fish. The waters of the marine park are rich with plankton that sustain fish of all sizes. Big eye jacks, puffers and black tipped reef sharks are easily spotted from the platform. To get intimate with the fish, snorkel a bit towards the sea and swim with butterfly fish, damselfish, groupers, parrotfish and angelfish. Shark feeding session in the afternoon is also a good opportunity to get close to shark pups. Head to Pulau Kaca to get away from the crowd and swim near artificial reefs made of sunken trawlers. A diversified array of fish including the mangrove snappers live here. Another popular site for shipwreck diving is Pulau Segantang, about 13 kilometres from Pulau Payar. Here, you can see moray eels, scorpion fish and lion fish.
The average visibility on a clear day is about 30-40 feet, but poor visibility can be an issue during monsoon season when the water gets murky. Coral bleaching has been an issue in the recent years due to the increase in tourism and the rising temperature of the sea water. Therefore, when you are here, please be respectful of the vulnerable marine life and avoid throwing trash or food into the water.